China Re Group Corp enjoyed rapid growth in premiums and steady profitability in the first half of 2020 despite the pandemic.

Overall, gross written premiums in the first half of 2020 increased 20.5 percent year-on-year to RMB102.1 billion ($15 billion).

Broken down: Gross written premiums by the property/casualty reinsurance business increased 17.6 percent YoY to RMB27.1 billion ($4 billion); gross written premiums by life and health reinsurance business increased 31.4 percent YoY to RMB50.5 billion ($7.4 billion); and gross written premiums of primary property/casualty insurance business increased of 5.7 percent YoY to RMB25.8 billion ($3.8 billion).

The company reported steady profitability excluding the impact of COVID-19 to overseas operations for the six. moths ending June 30, 2020. With the resumption of work and production in China, the group recorded a net profit of RMB2,749 million ($400 million). Profit before tax excluding the COVID-19 impact on overseas P/C reinsurance business achieved a year-on-year increase of 2.7 percent.

The company seized opportunities to optimize its portfolio allocation. Annualized total investment yield was 5.48 percent, representing a YoY increase of 29 basis points.

Premiums of domestic P/C reinsurance reached a new record of RMB18.0 billion ($2.6 billion), representing an increase of 20.8 percent YoY, growing faster than the primary insurance industry. The combined ratio of domestic P/C reinsurance was 99.80. Overseas P/C reinsurance recorded 14.9 percent YoY growth in gross written premiums to RMB9.7 billion ($1.4 billion). The group’s combined ratio excluding the impact of COVID-19 was 92.08, with significantly better business quality compared with the previous year.

Primary P/C insurance premiums climbed with a focus on better business quality, the company said. In the first half of 2020, motor insurance premiums in primary P/C insurance grew 2.3 percent YoY to RMB14.2 billion ($2 billion). Non-motor premiums rose 9.7 percent YoY to RMB11.2 billion ($1.6 billion).

The company continued with implementation of several strategic including the China Belt and Road Reinsurance Pool, which was established in July 2020. A China Re P&C Malaysia Branch will soon commence operations. It said it has also developed a proprietary China earthquake catastrophe model.

China Re Group was co-founded by the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China and the Central Huijin Investment Company Limited. In 2015, China Re Group became the first reinsurer listed on the main board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited.

At present, China Re Group directly controls five domestic subsidiaries: China Property & Casualty Reinsurance Company Co., Ltd., China Life Reinsurance Co., Ltd., China Continent Property & Casualty Co., Ltd. Company, China Re Asset Management Co., Ltd.,and Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Ltd. Direct holding overseas subsidiaries mainly include: China Re UK Companies, China Re Underwriting Agency Co., Ltd., etc.; Indirect holdings of overseas subsidiaries mainly include: China Re Asset Management (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd., Chaucer, China Reinsurance (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd., etc.; and four overseas branches in Singapore, London, Hong Kong and New York.

Source: China Reinsurance

*A version of this story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.